Brewing tea Question

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KAV
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Brewing tea Question

Post by KAV » Tue Aug 26, 2014 5:10 pm

I am trying to up my 'High Tea' ritual. My Sadler Brown Betty is being joined by a copper tea kettle and a teacup strainer.
A trip to a store catering to various ethnic groups has a marvelous biscuit(cookie) selection and I bought a filtering pitcher for my awful water. I re measured my pot- a full 32 oz that makes it @ a 4 cuppa pot.
My question: HOW FULL should a pot actually be filled? If I go the 32 oz it gets sloppy pouring. Is there an optimal level to let the loose tea brew in?

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Squire
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Re: Brewing tea Question

Post by Squire » Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:06 pm

Not for me, I just use a level that I'm comfortable with (pours easily) and I also ignore the one teaspoon per cup rule. My teacups are six ounces though.
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Squire

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Re: Brewing tea Question

Post by owenm » Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:38 pm

KAV wrote:I am trying to up my 'High Tea' ritual. My Sadler Brown Betty is being joined by a copper tea kettle and a teacup strainer.
A trip to a store catering to various ethnic groups has a marvelous biscuit(cookie) selection and I bought a filtering pitcher for my awful water. I re measured my pot- a full 32 oz that makes it @ a 4 cuppa pot.
My question: HOW FULL should a pot actually be filled? If I go the 32 oz it gets sloppy pouring. Is there an optimal level to let the loose tea brew in?
Normally about two thirds of an inch from the top. You can brew smaller amounts in a larger teapot but your tea will get colder quicker due to the larger surface area (you could add a tea cosy).

Digression:
I'm guessing what you have is a '6 cup pot'. Teapots are measured to the rim, so you would probably only fill it with about 4-5 cups worth of water or less, depending on how much tea you wanted. In terms of amount of tea for that volume of water, my granny would always tell me to put in 1 teaspoon of tea per cup, plus one extra for the pot.

However, we are talking about UK cups, which are different to US ones and UK teaspoons which are slightly bigger than US ones! I trained as a chemical engineer and I spent an awful lot of time converting between metric, imperial and US units, so I had some terrible flashbacks thinking about this! An UK cup is 1/3rd of an UK pint, which is 20 fl oz. An US oz is larger than an imperial fl oz. If you work it out an UK cup is very roughly 6oz US...
Cheers,
Owen

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KAV
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Re: Brewing tea Question

Post by KAV » Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:18 pm

Thank you Owen ( and Squire.) I have so few things My expectation for perfection borders on the compulsive. I just finished a fascinating book about Sir Robert Fortune; the famed Scottish horticulturalist who brought tea to India. Now I know why- and fervently agree with the British preference for black tea.
I bought a small quantity of Chinese on Evilbay recently. I get this compressed puck from Mainland China that looks like a dried out round of chewing tobacco. I brewed some and spent the evening with an upset stomach. The antidote come morning was English Breakfast,sugar,milk with scones with Dundee marmalade and Stilton blue cheese. Stilton is my third wonder drug after scotch and aspirin ( usually not together.)
I shall simply buy an English teaspoon. I grew up on SAE and discovered other systems with my Jowet Jupiter and Whitworth spanners. I gave up after buying a czarist era Moisin rifle marked in 'Arshams' on the rear sight.
Last edited by KAV on Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Brewing tea Question

Post by KAV » Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:40 pm

RIGHT, I type in British measuring spoons and get vintage sets from various defunct UK Airlines and hallmarked stuff pinched from the Downton Abbey props department. I'm just going to tweek things till I get it right. My Irish great grandmother would toss out the first cup- 'that's for our enemies' and now I know it started from all the debris found in early Chinese imports. THEN we had a cuppa and she poured some into a saucer for The Good Nieghbors' AKA fairy folk.
I STILL pour a bit into a saucer :mrgreen:

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Re: Brewing tea Question

Post by Squire » Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:49 pm

The wee folk in my Scottish forebears neighborhood preferred whisky.
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Re: Brewing tea Question

Post by KAV » Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:45 am

They get that too. But NEVER call them the 'wee folk.' During High School a 7 ' Pooka helped push my Jowet Jupiter to the gas station when it ran out of gas ( lousy Lucas gauge connection) AND find 37 cents on the sidewalk to put gas in and drive from the beach home. This hippie girl asked for a ride. She reeked of patchouli. I hate patchouli. I explained I was giving the Pooka a ride and there wasn't room. She said 'far out' walked across all 4 lanes of the Pacific Coast Highway in traffic to a VW van with Greatfull Dead emblems and climbed in. They all gave us weird looks as I drove past. Suddenly, the morbidly defunct radio began working, John McCormack singing IT'S A LONG WAY TO TIPPARARY. I dropped him off at Martin Sheen's place, something about his kid's future being in trouble. I know this, because I never tried drugs, and unlike my friends actually remember the 60s.

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Squire
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Re: Brewing tea Question

Post by Squire » Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:16 am

Unreliable Lucas, yes. It's said the Brits drink warm beer because they have Lucas refrigerators.
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Re: Brewing tea Question

Post by brothers » Thu Aug 28, 2014 11:52 am

Re: Jowett Jupiter- read this thorough and educational article while enjoying the tea!

http://www.hemmings.com/hsx/stories/201 ... ture2.html
Gary

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owenm
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Re: Brewing tea Question

Post by owenm » Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:58 pm

KAV wrote:Thank you Owen ( and Squire.) I have so few things My expectation for perfection borders on the compulsive. I just finished a fascinating book about Sir Robert Fortune; the famed Scottish horticulturalist who brought tea to India. Now I know why- and fervently agree with the British preference for black tea.
I bought a small quantity of Chinese on Evilbay recently. I get this compressed puck from Mainland China that looks like a dried out round of chewing tobacco. I brewed some and spent the evening with an upset stomach. The antidote come morning was English Breakfast,sugar,milk with scones with Dundee marmalade and Stilton blue cheese. Stilton is my third wonder drug after scotch and aspirin ( usually not together.)
I shall simply buy an English teaspoon. I grew up on SAE and discovered other systems with my Jowet Jupiter and Whitworth spanners. I gave up after buying a czarist era Moisin rifle marked in 'Arshams' on the rear sight.
I wouldn't bother buying an English teaspoon, I'd think that the amount that people put in varies so much between spoons anyway (heaped, level etc) that as long as it's about the right strength for you after a few minutes steeping, you should be good to go. I'd say the most important factor is the initial heat of the water (boiling) and keeping it high during the steep...

I do love a good Stilton - especially with a nice port and some crackers. Not good for the cholesterol levels though! I wouldn't have thought to eat it with something sweet either, should give it a try.

I used to find the US and Imperial units most confusing - same basic units, but each one is a different size when you convert it into metric... probably reduced my marks a fair few times!
Cheers,
Owen

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KAV
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Re: Brewing tea Question

Post by KAV » Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:17 pm

Gary,
THANKYOU for the link. My Jupiter was found in a used car lot in Simi Valley for $200. I couldn't afford the muscle cars and discovered brit cars were available for a song in comparison. It wore faded factory red paint and came witha 8 boxes of odd parts and a fitted hardtop. I would take it on the Old Pass Road or Malibu and eat muscle cars alive. One night, I scattered all the hippies at the infamous Spahn Ranch and made what would be 3 eye to eye encounters with Charlie before their arrests. The coyotes were howling to my cassette of Pink Floyd and it was wonderful in a genteel CLOCKWORK ORANGE madness. I traded it to Phil Hill who restores cars in Santa Monica for my MGA coupe. I look at prices for my many brit cars and feel sick :shock:

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Re: Brewing tea Question

Post by ShadowsDad » Thu Aug 28, 2014 3:03 pm

Stilton is the King of moldy cheeses! This may be heresy, but it makes a fantastic soup too.
Brian

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Re: Brewing tea Question

Post by Squire » Thu Aug 28, 2014 3:59 pm

That's not heresy, it's true.
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Squire

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Re: Brewing tea Question

Post by KAV » Thu Aug 28, 2014 4:30 pm

Recipe PLEASE!
My Stilton plate is the traditional Port and walnuts while watching Downton Abbey, Endeavor, Selfridges and THE BUCKET WOMAN!

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Re: Brewing tea Question

Post by owenm » Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:00 am

KAV wrote:Recipe PLEASE!
My Stilton plate is the traditional Port and walnuts while watching Downton Abbey, Endeavor, Selfridges and THE BUCKET WOMAN!
Broccoli and Stilton Soup - serves about 4.
Heat up a tablespoon of olive oil on a low heat
Chop finely half an onion
Grate a small potato
Crush a small clove of garlic
Fry the vegetables above until soft
Chop a head of broccoli into florets - include the smaller stalks
Place the broccoli in the pan and fill with vegetable stock
Simmer with the lid on for 30-45 mins until the broccoli is soft
Blend until smooth
Stir in a large handful of Stilton - leave some larger lumps so they don't all melt
Season with salt and pepper. Finish with double cream and serve with crusty bread
Last edited by owenm on Sat Aug 30, 2014 12:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
Cheers,
Owen

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KAV
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Re: Brewing tea Question

Post by KAV » Fri Aug 29, 2014 5:48 pm

How did I manage to have every ingredient on hand? I'm not sure if 'blend until smooth' means a food processor? Mine is a vigorous mixing hand. It is wonderful. =P~

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Re: Brewing tea Question

Post by Squire » Fri Aug 29, 2014 7:17 pm

Chopped fine works as well.
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Squire

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Re: Brewing tea Question

Post by owenm » Sat Aug 30, 2014 12:27 am

KAV wrote:How did I manage to have every ingredient on hand? I'm not sure if 'blend until smooth' means a food processor? Mine is a vigorous mixing hand. It is wonderful. =P~
Yup, I'd normally use a food processor or a stick blender. As Squire says, chop everything finely if you don't want to do that.
Cheers,
Owen

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Re: Brewing tea Question

Post by Squire » Sat Aug 30, 2014 4:44 am

Anybody remember the name of the French guy who was White House chef (in the Nixon years I think) who wouldn't allow a food processor in the kitchen or hire anyone who couldn't get the job done with a knife?
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Re: Brewing tea Question

Post by Rufus » Sat Aug 30, 2014 5:38 am

ShadowsDad wrote:Stilton is the King of moldy cheeses! This may be heresy, but it makes a fantastic soup too.
Stilton is my favourite cheese when I want to indulge myself; fortunately SWMBO likes a good piece of Stilton too. But to use it to make soup is beyond heresy. I like mine totally unadulterated : sans crackers/biscuits, fruit, jam, chutney, etc; just a nice glass of Port. We're having friends for dinner tonight and we'll have a pot of Stilton and bottle of Port for afters...yum, yum.
Bryan

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